State of South Sumatra

The State of South Sumatra (Indonesian: Negara Sumatra Selatan) was a federal state and part of the United States of Indonesia formed in the southern part of Sumatra by the Netherlands in 1948 as part of an attempt to reestablish the colony of the Dutch East Indies during the Indonesian National Revolution.

State of South Sumatra
Negara Sumatra Selatan
State of the United States of Indonesia
1948 – 1950
(Sovereign state until 27 December 1949)
Flag of South Sumatra
South Sumatra in the United States of Indonesia.svg
South Sumatra in the United States of Indonesia
Historical eraCold War
• State of South Sumatra established
30 August 1948
• Merged with the Republic of Indonesia
24 March 1950
Preceded by
Succeeded by
South Sumatra
South Sumatra


In December 1947, the Dutch established a Body for the Preparation of South Sumatra to establish a federal state in an area originally planned to remain part of the Republic of Indonesia. Subsequently the Dutch also formed a 36-member advisory council comprising 30 Indonesians, 2 Dutch citizens and representatives of the Chinese, Arabic and Indian ethnic communities. This group then elected Abdul Malik as its chairman, and he became head of state when State of South Sumatra was formally established on 30 August 1948. It covered approximately one quarter of the area of the province of South Sumatra.[1][2]


Upon the establishment of the state, Abdul Malik was inaugurated as head of state by a representative of the Dutch crown in Palembang's Great Mosque. The people's representative assembly, a continuation of the advisory council, was the most powerful state institution, but the annual state budget was set by the head of state, and submitted it to the assembly for approval. A number of government departments were established, and ministers appointed as follows:

  • Home Affairs Minister: Alwi
  • Information, Culture, Science and Religion Minister: Mohammad Rasyid
  • Development, Transport and Waterways Minister: R.M. Akip
  • Welfare Minister: H.A. Polderman
  • Justice Minister: F.P. Stocker

Many Dutch nationals held positions as heads of government agencies and mayors, including of the capital, Palembang.[3]


By early 1950, there were growing calls for the constituent states of the RUSI to dissolve themselves into a unitary Republic of Indonesia.[4] The South Sumatra representative assembly voted for reintegration into the Republic of Indonesia, and asked for the state to be placed under the control of a RUSI representative, rather than the head of state. The dissolution was facilitated by RUSI Presidential Regulation No. 126/1950, through which the State of South Sumatra ceased to exist as of 24 March 1950.[5][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Kahin 1961, p. 383.
  2. ^ Alian 2013, p. 7-11.
  3. ^ Alian 2013, p. 11.
  4. ^ Feith 2007, p. 61.
  5. ^ Feith 2007, p. 63-64.
  6. ^ Simanjuntak 2003, p. 100.


  • Alian (2013). "Sumatera Selatan dalam Kerangka Negara Federal Belanda (South Sumatra in the Context of the Dutch federal State". Jurnal Sejarah Dapunta Hiyang (in Indonesian). Palembang: Sriwijaya University. 1 (1). ISSN 2337-7844.
  • Feith, Herbert (2007) [1962]. The Decline of Constitutional Democracy in Indonesia. Singapore: Equininox Publishing (Asia) Pte Ltd. ISBN 978-979-3780-45-0.
  • Kahin, George McTurnan (1961) [1952], Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia, Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press
  • Simanjuntak, P. N. H. (2003). Kabinet-Kabinet Republik Indonesia: Dari Awal Kemerdekaan Sampai Reformasi (in Indonesian). Jakarta: Djambatan. ISBN 979-428-499-8.